kleinVerhaal is a participatory art practice in Ostend, Belgium. Operating as a non-governmental organisation, it is a space where people across the society, including the most vulnerable, dive into the arts. 

kleinVerhaal regularly joins forces with professional, committed artists from the field of film and music to facilitate open studios in which a colourful mix of people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and ages to shape their ideas.

With a variety of projects throughout the year, the organisation questions and documents the complexity of today’s society in unique creations and stimulating actions. 

Below is an overview of selected kleinVerhaal projects Yamen Martini has been part of.


YaGoon is a social music project led by Yamen Martini and assisted by Gonzalo Arévalo Stoyka. Launched in 2019, the initiative takes traditional music and well-known songs as a starting point – and then re-imagines them with a contemporary twist, giving them a surprising new identity. 

During the lockdown period, YaGoon produced a number of music videos by combining individual sound and image recordings in an innovative way.

In February 2022, the group embarked on the Dabke sessions journey, building on this Levantine-Arabic traditional line and circle dance popular in various parts of the Middle East. On 24 November 2022, Yagoon released “The Dabke sessions EP” at kleinVerhaal, with five songs written by Yamen Martini.

The compositions are inspired by traditional Dabke songs, with an addition of different lines and harmonies. The project culminated at the Grand Final Concert on 01 July 2023.

For Must, a spiritual Sufi song written in honour of the most revered Sufi saint of Sindh, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (1177–1274) of Sehwan Sharif, YaGoon cooperated with talented Indian singer Sukoon Bablani

Thanks to this video filmed during the lockdown, the Flemish polders and Indian fields suddenly seem to be very close to each other.


Sukoon Bablani (vocals)
Haroun Minhas (guitar)
David Colameo (bass)
Gonzalo Arévalo Stoyka (keyboard)
Yamen Martini (trumpet, backing vocals, percussions)


Klankenkoorts is a musical theatre story that has grown in the bosom of a diverse group of musicians and storytellers, developed under the leadership of Yamen Martini and Geert Six.

A plea for more empathy and solidarity. An invitation to show courage and not be deterred by black-and-white and enemy thinking, this project of the Unie der Zorgelozen and FMDO in collaboration with Zuidwest and kleinVerhaal garnered overwhelmingly positive feedback.  


A unique musical encounter between musicians from kleinVerhaal and the renowned HERMESEnsemble, ranging from songs to soundscapes, finding inspiration in the masterpieces of James Ensor for composing new, exciting music.

This project was part of Ensor 2024, the multifaceted city festival with numerous exhibitions and high-profile events in honour of the 75th anniversary of the death of artist James Ensor, and could be heard at the exposition ‘Rose, rose à mes yeux’ in Mu.ZEE, Ostend, Belgium.

1/1 Sessies

1/1 Sessies invites young musicians from various backgrounds to the StudiO.666 for one-on-one sessions with musicians and coaches Yamen Martini and Gonzalo Arévalo.

During these sessions, they can tinker with their repertoire, receive feedback and progress with their compositions step by step. To provide a platform to young musicians who cannot rely on a musical network, 1/1 Sessies explores the possibilities of connecting musicians and creating new formations. 



Coached by renowned musicians and producers Jan DaelmanThijs TrochJames De Graef and Yamen Martini, MUZINE enables young musicians, bands and ensembles from all backgrounds and (sub)genres to jam and exchange ideas, receive tailor-made coaching and feedback about their repertoire. Here, participants push their artistic boundaries, try new things and sharpen their skills as well as expand their network, making it easier for them to find their way to the local and regional stages. 

Sound recordings of each session are mixed and uploaded to the MUZINE SoundCloud, which functions as a digital sound archive.

Dreun XL

The noise rock group DREUN was founded in 2017 in the workshops of Tordale, a facility for people with suspected intellectual disabilities, in Torhout by guitarist/drummer Keanu Dewilde. He brought together seven musicians for honest music without frills. DREUN is more than a music group but a loud alliance, sincere and from the gut. However, Keanu passed away due to a tragic accident. The group was left orphaned until guitarist Jonas Messelier took the musicians under his wing. 

kleinVerhaal invited KRANKLAND (Thomas Werbrouck), a thoroughbred musician who delves into music outside the mainstream, to join forces with DREUN to develop new songs and recordings on the Drift music label.

This DREUN XL incarnation with 11 musicians resulted in “Dewilde Superheld”, an album with psychedelic, enchanting songs.


In 2014 there was fierce commotion about the then growing group of unhoused people in Ostend as public opinion turned against them. KleinVerhaal was looking for an artistic and positive answer – and founded The Ostend Street Orkestra (TOSO). Under the coaching of Ilse DuyckGiovanni BarcellaBart Maris and Yamen Martini, TOSO has grown into a music orchestra with about 25 musicians from a wide range of social and musical backgrounds. With a constantly changing repertoire, the TOSO experience was brought to the stages of De Grote PostLeffingeleurenC-MineManifiëstaDe Figuranten and De Vooruit arts center, among others.

A unique experience, a crossover of musical genres, stage and street, image and sound and between audience and musicians, TOSO showed how encounters give resilience and hope to a diverse mix of people.  In 2018 TOSO was awarded the Ultimas – the Flemish Culture Awards – for best amateur arts.

Get in touch


Bookings and inquiries:
Yamen Martini

+32 485 16 11 77 (phone/WhatsApp)

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